Tag: Listowel

The blind leading the blind from Ballybunion

Friday, 21 June, 2019

We’re haven’t reached the end of June yet so it’s still a bit early in the year to be talking of the Pattern Day but this story by the late Kerry writer John B. Keane on the Pattern Day in Ballybunion, County Kerry, is worth sharing today. John B. never missed the 15th of August festivities when “the nine miles of road between Listowel and Ballybunion [were] black with a stream of several thousand bicycles.” What impressed the young writer most were the “scenes of humour near the Castle Green on the afternoon of the Pattern.” Example:

“It must be forty years ago now since we sat listening to a blind gorsoon singing This Poor Blind Boy while his equal innocent looking companion went around with a long collection sock explaining that the singer had been abandoned by his parents at the age of two and had been reared by asses. After he had cleared out what was cleanable from one party of onlookers he led the blind boy away to pastures new. I saw the pair later that night in Listowel and they staving drunk. The blind boy, now miraculously with sight recovered, was leading his companion who was now also blind drunk.”

He could tell them.


The Ballad of Lidl and Aldi

Monday, 13 January, 2014 1 Comment

Lidl and Aldi are German discount supermarket chains that, between them, operate more than 20,000 stores across Europe. They are (in)famous for their fearsome competitiveness, their ruthless pricing and their wholesale destruction of traditional shopping outlets that once were the hub of small communities. Oh, and they offer consumers lots of stuff. This latter aspect is the focus of The Ballad of Lidl and Aldi, which is sung here by Mick MacConnell in John B. Keane’s Pub in Listowel, County Kerry.

“Now there’s welding rods and prime organic beef to make a hearty stew
A hiking staff and spiky boots for climbing Kathmandu
Big heads of curly cabbage to make you eat your fill
Sledgehammers and bananas and a lovely cordless drill
And there’s hatchets and hamburgers and there’s tins of beans and peas
And a petrol driven chainsaw for cutting bits off trees
Strimmers, sabres, saws and sausages, computers and TVs
At LidldiAldi, LidldiAldi LidldiAldi Lidldidee.”

Tip of the Tam o’Shanter to Mary and Niamh for the link.